Bible Reading: Ephesians 6:10-20
The devil [meaning “diabolical”] known as satan [“the accuser”], once one of the highest angelic beings, was cast out of heaven because of pride and rebellion and became the enemy of God and of all that God created.
Jesus called this enemy a thief whose purpose is to steal and kill and destroy [John 10:10]. This enemy rules over his kingdom and has a hierarchy of evil forces under him [Ephesians 10:12]. His kingdom is ruled by control and fear.
Satan was tempted Eve and Adam in the Garden of Eden and caused them to fall. Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness to surrender to him, but Jesus said “No” and spoke God’s Word to defeat him.
He still attacks today. Sometimes it is very overt and sometimes very subtle. Here are some of the words used in the New Testament to describe how he treats people:
He ENTICES [Matthew 4:1-11]; DECEIVES [1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Cor. 4:4]; ENSLAVES [Rom. 8:15 – literally “a spirit that makes you a slave”]; TORMENTS [Matt. 18:34-35; 1 John 4:18]; OPPRESSES [Acts 10:38 – “katadunasteo” = to exercise dominion against; to oppress; to over-burden]; BINDS [Luke 13:16 – “deo” = to tie up; confine; fasten = with cords that bind]; HINDERS [1 Thess. 2:18]; BUFFETS [2 Cor. 12:7] – to buffet = to hit with blow after blow; to punch; to slap; VEXES “pascho” [Grk] = to mob, hassle, molest [Matt. 15:22; 17:15; Luke 6:18; Acts 5:16]; TROUBLES [1 Samuel 16:14]. The Hebrew word means “to make fearful, afraid, terrify. It speaks of agitation of mind perplexity, uneasiness [see 1 Chron. 10:13-14]. The NASV translates this as “terrorise.”
Compared with our God this enemy is infinitesimally small but he has power to steal, kill and destroy. As he came to Jesus so he will try to tempt and cause you to fall into his trap.
Paul told the Ephesians to stand against this enemy. James exhorts to resist him and he will flee from us [James 4:7]. “The most important thing that we need to know about Satan is that Jesus defeated him on the cross” [Luther]. We stand in Christ’s victory, but must say “No” when the enemy attacks and tempts us. ‘No’ is a freedom word! I was impressed this week as I found that Jesus used the word ‘No’ on sixteen separate occasions.
Thank you Lord Jesus, that you defeated Satan on the cross and that I can enjoy your victory over him. Help me today, however difficult it may be, to say “No” to the evil one’s suggestions and temptations. Thank you for Your Name, Your blood and Your Word by which I overcome the evil one today. Amen.